Cyberpunk Review » Battle Angel

https://static.anarchivism.org/cyberpunkreview-archive/www.cyberpunkreview.com/movie/decade/1990-1999/battle-angel/index.html

Battle Angel is based off a very well done Manga series called Battle Angel Alita. The movie covers the first two volumes of the Manga: Rusty Angel, which documents Alita’s “rebirth” and Tears of an Angel, which portrays a tragic love story. This anime from 1993 is one of the best man-machine interface animes out. The story is solid, and the drawing for that time period is terrific. While you might hear some gripe that the Manga is better, I think Fukutomi did a terrific job in taking Kishiro’s story to anime. I can only hope that James Cameron does a similarly wonderful job with the upcoming live action version of this. Just a warning – this is not a kids story – it contains lots of blood, head removals and minor amounts of nudity.

Battle Angel takes place far into the future, after a societal collapse has occurred. Advanced human society has been relegated to a floating city called Zalem, that sits above a refuse heap called Scrap Iron City, which is inhabited by denizens living off the scraps and waste products Zalem expels. A corporation called the “Factory,” the primary employer for Scrap Iron City, sends products back up to Zalem through a series of huge metal tubes. Cyborg technology has become a way of life, with many “humans” having only their brain remaining from their original human body host. Scavenging and theft has become a way of life for many. Backbones are a particularly sought after commodity by thieves, who sometimes will violently take them from their living hosts. As social services no longer exist, the Factory posts “bounties” for the heads of the most egregious villians, which bounty hunters, called Hunter-Warriors pursue for money.

Daisuke Ido, an cyborg doctor extraordinaire, former citizen of Zalem, scavenges through the refuse heap to find spare cyborg parts to repair the citizens of Scrap Iron City. One day he comes across a female cyborg head that has a still-living human brain in it. He sets out to repair this head and gives her a wonderful body off of parts he has collected. He names her Gally (she is called Alita in the Manga), and she seems totally restored, except for the loss of memory from her earlier life. Ido becomes attached to Gally and they quickly develop a father-daughter type relationship.

Gally learns that Ido moonlights also a Hunter-Warrior both for moral reasons and to support his medical practice. Gally saves Ido from certain death, and thus, reveals that she, in her former life, was also a very talented warrior. Under protest from Ido, Gally asserts her individuality and desire to become a Hunter-Warrior like Ido, so that she too can have purpose to her life.

Chiren, also a cyborg doctor and Ido’s former partner, has also been ousted from Zalem, and is consumed with finding a way to return. Deciding that she will do anything to make this happen, Chiren hooks up with Vector, a shady character who has connections with the “Factory,” who agrees to eventually take her to Zalem in return for sexual favors and for her assistance in building a supra-cyborg gladiator named Greweicia for the fighting ring. This cyborg warrior also has a penchant for eating brains, and ends up on the bounty list. Chiren, wanting to be seen as superior to Ido, gets Greweicia to fight Gally in the hopes of destroying her, and thus, destroying Ido.

Gally, in exploring the city has become infatuated with a hard working body named Yugo, who dreams of going to Zalem. Although it’s common knowledge that nobody born in Scrap Iron City can ever go to Zalem, Yogo is also consumed with finding a way, and has gotten an agreement from Vector, who promises Yugo if he can make 10,000,000 credits, than he will take Yugo to Zalem. Yugo has taken him up on his offer and has started stealing cyborg spinal cords as a way to augment his day job of fixing machinery. He is discovered, and is put on the Bounty list. Gally, who has fallen deeply in love with him, tries to rescue him from a rival bounty hunter. Unfortunately she is too late, but is able to save his head, and asks Ido to turn him into a cyborg. Even after becoming a cyborg, Yugo’s dreams of reaching Zalem cannot be abated, as he sees his life a struggle against the worthlessness that is the Scap Iron City.

In Battle Angel, we see strong influences of Akira in most every aspect of the production. From the facial expressions to the darkly textured backgrounds to the fighting style approach, Battle Angel clearly has used Akira as a template for modern animation techniques. Like many OAVs of this time period, some of the backgrounds are bland while others are lavishly penned and inked with multi-layered designs. They “pick their battles” with the designs, but for the most part, the decisions are solid. The simple designs are in backgrounds such as the sky and in Ido’s house. The more complex ones are in the underground, Yugo’s hang out, and in the refuse heap scenes – this is where most of the action and plot take place.

While I think Battle Angel is a terrific anime, there are some changes from the Manga that some find annoying. Most bizarre is the renaming of Alita to Gally, and the city Tiphares to Zalem. However, unlike some, I don’t find the changes in the plot to be that problematic. The anime wonderfully captures the essence of the Manga. Perhaps the biggest change is the rationale for Alita’s powers. In the anime, we really don’t get an explanation, but in the Manga, Alita is first given a normal body by Ido, and ends up destroying it in her first fight. Realizing that Alita is a warrior at heart, Ido gives her the body he has saved for a long time – that of a berserker warrior. The primary villain in Rusty Angel is also different – he is a being who has grown up in the sewers, and after losing his body in fighting Alita, he takes over the Gladiator’s body. And Chiren, a central character in the anime is not in the first to novels of the Manga. Again, for the most part, I have no problems with the changes, and actually love the dimension that Chiren adds.

Battle Angel (Alita) just works for me as an anime. It is intelligent enough and well enough executed to get you to imagine a world where cyborgs are a reality. The world from the underground perspective is well done and Alita (I call her Alita, not Gally) as a character is terrific. Along with Armitage III and Ghost in the Shell (obviously), Alita is one of the best animes of this kind. Just a caution for those who have only seen the VHS, like most Japanese animes, Battle Angel comes off FAR FAR better with the Japanese dubbing cast than it does the English cast.

CD release of soundtrack by Dave Grusin “Mulholland Falls”

http://www.kritzerland.com/mulfalls.htm

THIS ISN’T AMERICA, THIS IS LOS ANGELES

Sometimes it’s just timing. Sometimes it’s just the luck of the draw. In 1996, an LA film noir called Mulholland Falls was released. Very much attempting to tap into the feel of the film Chinatown, it received some good reviews and some bad reviews; but not many people in 1996 cared to see a period LA film noir set in the early 1950s, despite its excellent cast, which included Nick Nolte, Chaz Palminteri, Jennifer Connelly, John Malkovich, Melanie Griffith, Chris Penn, Michael Madsen, Andrew McCarthy, and Treat Williams, as well as small roles played by Bruce Dern, Louise Fletcher, Rob Lowe and William Peterson. One year later, LA Confidential opened, and suddenly a period LA film noir set in the early 1950s was all the rage with audiences and critics. It’s interesting to think about what would have happened if the two films had come out in reverse order.

Mulholland Falls was loosely based on a real-life group of LA policemen known as the “Hat Squad” who pretty much did things as they pleased in the days long before the Miranda decision. It also concerned itself with secretly filmed incriminating lurid movies, the A-bomb testing in Nevada, and a mystery rife with cover-ups and secrets and immorality lurking around every corner. In other words, business as usual for an LA noir. Roger Ebert really liked the film, saying, “This is the kind of movie where every note is put in lovingly. It’s a 1950s crime movie, but with a modern, ironic edge.” The Los Angeles Times’ Kenneth Turan also liked it, and said, “Mulholland Falls combines a vivid sense of place with a visceral directorial style that fuses controlled fury onto everything it touches.”

The film disappeared quickly, but developed a cult following from its many cable showings and various video releases. Seen today, it is a moody, evocative, well-paced noir, with a powerhouse cast – and a lot of what works about the film can be traced to its score by Dave Grusin. Not only does his music do everything that film music is supposed to do, i.e. propel the film, establish its moods, define its characters, and illuminate its story, but apart from the film it is a great listening experience – its themes are beautiful and memorable, exciting and melancholy, mysterious and smoky and intoxicating. In fact, it’s one of the best noir scores ever written, and right up there with other classics of the post-1970s noir scores, Chinatown (Jerry Goldsmith), Farewell, My Lovely (David Shire), and LA Confidential (Goldsmith again).

The score to Mulholland Falls was issued on CD concurrent with the film’s release, on Edel. That CD presented about thirty-eight minutes of score and the classic song “Harbor Lights,” sung by Aaron Neville (who performs it on camera in the movie). That release has been long out of print and brings pricey collector prices. For this release, we’ve gone back to the original two-track mixed masters and discovered quite a nice number of cues that were not on the original Edel CD. So, for the first time we are presenting the complete score to the film, in film order (the original CD is, for the most part, in film order and is very well sequenced, but the missing cues are really good and really give the score a cohesive quality that is quite addictive), along with an alternate version of the main title.

Dave Grusin is a master film composer, and Mulholland Falls is right at the top of his prodigious output. So, just surrender yourself because there’s no way not to be caught in the spider web of its sinuous, silky musical world; a tone poem of doomed romance, conspiracy, and an LA that doesn’t exist anymore.

This release is limited to 1000 copies only. The price of the CD is $19.98, plus shipping.

The New McCarthyism and its Benefits for the Right

Why am I not reacting to the happenings that are occurring? Some people would like to know about this. Well, how should I answer this question? Firstly, I didn’t create my blog in order to constantly react to what is happening in the world, and I don’t consider my blog to be all that important. I created my blog mostly for myself and as a collection of some of the things that I like. However, I consider it to be a nice bonus if people follow my blog and like what I post. Occasionally, I make posts in order to share some of my thoughts and opinions. Even so, I appreciate the work of some independent bloggers that analyze current events and talk about what is happening. Initially, I didn’t take my blog seriously at all, but, as time passed, I began taking my blog more seriously, though it’s still not that important to me. What’s funny is that someone even called me a dick because of my bad jokes. Sure, I’ve been on a minor campaign of dickishness for almost a year, mostly for amusement. It’s because many people react to what I post. Interestingly, it doesn’t seem like I’ve lost many followers since then. Some people have actually enjoyed my bad jokes. Well, I’ve had a bit of fun, but, if I get inspired to come up with another bad joke, I might share it. In addition, I’ve created playlists and a search bar on my blog, in order to help people navigate my blog more easily. I think that I lost a lot more followers after I made a post about the fact that I don’t see eye to eye with anti-Semites and with other right-wing extremists. Because of some of the videos that I’ve posted, my channel and my blog has attracted a considerable number of conspiracy theorists and other irrational right-wingers. These people are reactionaries, and they react strongly to anything that appears leftist to them or to anyone who disagrees with them. There are many such people in the USA. I’ve been able to observe their behavior over the years, not because I’ve wanted to do this but because there are many of them on the internet and because I’ve stumbled upon their work every so often. Obviously, most of these people are from the lower class, and they don’t have a good education. I’m not saying that they’re totally useless as sources of information. They’re capable of doing some fine research and of posting some interesting information, but, unfortunately, they’re also irrational and narrow-minded. Therefore, even if they do post something that’s worth reading, they mix it with their fictions, myths, and bigotry, thereby making it almost useless. It seems to me that they support most of what the establishment does, they want to support the status quo, they despise books and schooling, but they still see themselves as victims of conspiracies, and, no matter what the facts are, they attribute these conspiracies to people or movements that they consider to be alien and foreign, like communists, Jews, blacks, leftists, intellectuals, liberals, free thinkers, people of other races, people of other religions, women, and so on. Adolf Hitler, for example, was a conspiracy theorist. He saw himself as a victim of a Jewish conspiracy. If you look at the footage featuring Hitler, you’ll see that he talked and behaved like a typical Western right-winger and conspiracy theorist. Because Hitler has been demonized in the USA and in other Western countries, it’s clear that most conspiracy theorists don’t like to be compared to him, at least in public. But, since they know that he was a right-winger, a nationalist, and a racist, they still don’t think of him as a bad person. The more extreme conspiracy theorists and right-wingers think of Hitler as a hero. I think that one of the big reasons why there are so many racists, conspiracy theorists, and other right-wingers in the USA is because there are many black people there. Racism is a big issue in the USA. The number of Latinos has also grown considerably in the USA in the last several decades. Colored people are seen as a threat by many white Americans. Though most white Americans won’t say this in public, they think of blacks as lazy, dumb, loud, and obnoxious. They also think of blacks and Latinos as loafers who benefit from the welfare state. Therefore, many reactionary whites support cutting social programs, getting rid of the welfare state, and doing away with other democratic practices because this will hurt many blacks and Latinos. Since the beginning of the Cold War, the American establishment has made an effort to humanize and dignify black people. I don’t really know what the reason for this is, but it must be a good reason. Is it because they wanted to improve the image of the USA during the competition with the Soviet Union? Is it because they wanted to appease black people because of the black power movement? Is it because they want to appease black people because black people have suffered more from the economic crisis than white people? Or is it because they want to appease black people because, according to some forecasts, black and other colored people will outnumber white people in the USA in the future? I don’t really know. At this point, I can only guess. Anyway, people should know that I’m not running a propaganda channel or a propaganda website here. I didn’t create my blog in order to please people. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, this isn’t my job, and I don’t get paid to be a propagandist. For example, my channel is not like one of those offensive anti-Russian and anti-Putin channels that popped up on YouTube at the time of the Russo-Georgian War of 2008 or the Euromaidan of 2013. And I’m not like Alex Jones, or Jeff Rense, or Paul Joseph Watson. Such people are employed by the establishment in order to disseminate anti-leftist and pro-establishment lies and propaganda. If they had really been independent, they wouldn’t have had the time or the opportunities to disseminate their propaganda. Another reason why I don’t run a propaganda blog is because I’m not a reactionary and because I like to read books. Being a propagandist doesn’t interest me. In addition, the authorities in the USA and in other Western countries have been cracking down on independent internet bloggers for more than a decade already. Information that goes against the establishment narrative gets deleted or marginalized by popular websites like Google. Oligarchs in the USA and in Europe have also been spending more and more money on propaganda outlets since 2008, when the economic crisis began. I’ve been observing what has been happening, and I can say that, nowadays, the internet is crammed with anti-leftist propaganda and with other propaganda that the establishment approves of. Both the “lunatic radical right” and the “fake left” of the American establishment have been intensifying their propaganda activities. Modesty and common sense have mostly become things of the past, in this respect, as propaganda from the establishment has been getting more and more irrational, offensive, and ridiculous. For example, the president of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, openly gets insulted in the American media. And the Russian Federation is a country that still has a large arsenal of nuclear weapons. Things like this didn’t really happen during the Cold War. This isn’t happening only because the Russian Federation is much, much weaker than the Soviet Union. This is also happening because irrationality has been growing in the West since the end of the Cold War. It seems that after the Soviet Union “collapsed”, Western oligarchs could finally stop pretending to be progressive and presentable people, in some respects. Since 1991, they’ve downgraded the education system in Western countries, they’ve promoted more indecency in culture, they’ve done away with many democratic practices, they’ve initiated more imperialist wars, they’ve cracked down even more against leftist parties, they’ve attacked the welfare state, they’ve allowed the events of September 11, 2001 to happen, and so on. I must say that they’ve attempted to keep an appearance of democracy in the government even after 2001. They’re quite crafty. However, I think that they’ve done this because they can allow themselves to do this for the time being. When things will get worse, and I think that they will, they’ll do away with the appearance of democracy as well. Anyway, with all of this in mind, it has become a waste of time to run some kind of opposition channel or blog on the internet. Some people, especially reactionaries, may disagree with me. Conspiracy theorists, anti-Semites, nationalists, and other reactionaries continue to wage their war on Twitter and on other such websites. This is fine, though I can’t say that I agree with a lot of what they have to say. But what have they actually accomplished? It seems that they, as reactionary individualists, have accomplished nothing. There’s a reason why the establishment viciously attacks left-wingers and not right-wingers. Left-wingers organize and form parties in the real world. Even mild left-wing activism is very distasteful for capitalists. This is the kind of opposition that the establishment fears. Right-wingers, on the other hand, are politically useless if they’re compared to left-wingers, but they still want to see themselves as victims. Whenever it appears to them that the right is being criticized or attacked, they react sharply because this doesn’t happen often. Right-wingers may think that they’re hot stuff, but, if we stand back and look soberly at what has been happening, we’ll see that the left has been attacked viciously and for many decades. This is why the right is growing and why the left is receding. Demonization of anything leftist is seen as something that is normal in the USA. Many people simply lack the will, the knowledge, and the bravery to resist the new McCarthyism.

The FBI and Occupy: The Surveillance and Suppression of Occupy Wall Street

https://www.rightsanddissent.org/news/the-fbi-and-occupy-the-surveillance-and-suppression-of-occupy-wall-street/

We know when the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protest movement began. On September 17, 2011 in Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan, approximately 1,000 activists gathered to “occupy” the space for a peaceful protest against the economic and social inequality suffered by “the 99%” and caused by the corruption and greed of “the 1%.” The planning for OWS began months earlier. In July of 2011, Adbusters Media Foundation, a not-for-profit anti-consumerism magazine based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, published a poster calling for a demonstration against Wall Street, and the international precursors of the movement go back even further. We even know exactly when the FBI became involved.

Government surveillance of the OWS movement started before anybody showed up in Zuccotti Park. In late 2012, the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) obtained FBI documents and reported them as “showing that FBI offices and agents around the country were in high gear conducting surveillance against the movement even as early as August 2011.” That is when the FBI met with the New York Stock Exchange and began notifying businesses that protests against them were imminent. The PCJF report also states that the Department of Homeland Security was part of the coordinated effort to warn corporate America about OWS.

The FBI and other law enforcement agencies conducted preventative actions in cities throughout the United States. Some were wholly unnecessary: “The FBI’s Indianapolis division released a ‘Potential Criminal Activity Alert’ on September 15, 2011, even though they acknowledged that no specific protest date had been scheduled in Indiana,” the PCJF report states. Other actions were entirely misplaced: the Richmond, Virginia FBI communicated information about the local OWS protest to the Joint Terrorism Task Force. The FBI obviously had not been there listening when New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in a press conference held two days before the OWS demonstration began in Zuccotti Park, said, “People have a right to protest, and if they want to protest, we’ll be happy to make sure they have locations to do it.” To their eyes, the protestors were potential, and likely, terrorists.

In January of 2013, The Huffington Post reported reported on the FBI’s surveillance of OWS, telling the story of Tim Franzen, a member of Occupy Atlanta who was investigated by the FBI to determine whether he “might have a cache of weapons for a future violent revolution.” The Huffington Post article implies that the FBI targeted Franzen, who was 35 years old and a Quaker community organizer when he participated in OWS Atlanta, because of his past arrests and imprisonment for teenage drug use and involvement in robberies, stating that “the feds interviewed three different activists at their homes about his activities and beliefs.” (Watch a live television interview with Tim Franzen after his arrest along with the other occupiers at Woodruff Park in Atlanta.)

The FBI took full advantage of its resources to investigate what it saw as the terroristic implications of OWS. The documents uncovered by PCJF show communication between the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs), the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), the Federal Reserve, and the Domestic Security Alliance Council (DSAC). DSAC describes itself as “a strategic partnership between the US government and the US private industry that enhances communication and promotes the timely and effective exchange of security and intelligence information between the federal government and the private sector.”

What timely security and intelligence information did DSAC feel it needed to communicate to Wall Street businesses about a nonviolent protest? According to Nicole Colson in a January 2013 article for The Socialist Worker, “despite the Occupy movement’s nonviolent practice—the FBI labeled Occupy protests as potentially violent criminal actions (often by simply using the shorthand label of ‘anarchist’) or even terrorist threats. This later helped justify the police assaults on Occupy encampments in cities across the U.S.”

The FBI’s efforts paid off in just a few short months. On November 15, 2011, the New York Police Department began to evict the occupiers in Zuccotti Park after “a judge upheld the city’s move to clear the park and bar the protesters from bringing back their tents or sleeping overnight,” according to a New York Times article. The article includes Mayor Bloomberg’s statement at the time; he said, “New York City is the city where you can come and express yourself . . . What was happening in Zuccotti Park was not that.”

What was really happening, though, and not just in New York, but in Occupy demonstrations all across the country, according to Naomi Wolf, writing in The Guardian in December of 2012, was an FBI-instigated, big bank-coordinated, top-down crackdown that included “violent arrests, group disruption, canister missiles to the skulls of protesters, people held in handcuffs so tight they were injured, people held in bondage till they were forced to wet or soil themselves.” She states that the FBI documents “show the cops and DHS working for and with banks to target, arrest, and politically disable peaceful American citizens.”

The lesson here: when the authorities tell you “People have a right to protest,” they don’t really mean it. Your protest is very likely to be investigated and, as Mara Verhayden-Hilliard, executive director of PCJF, was quoted in The New York Times in December of 2012, “The collection of information on people’s free-speech actions is being entered into unregulated databases, a vast storehouse of information widely disseminated to a range of law-enforcement and, apparently, private entities . . . people do not know when or how it may be used and in what manner.” This must be stopped.

Guide For Moral Perspective in a Capitalist Society

https://theredphoenixapl.org/2010/06/02/guide-for-moral-perspective-in-a-capitalist-society/

The New Red Scare

Lately, one cannot help but notice that despite the “end of history” and the total discrediting, debunking, destruction, looting, pillaging and castration of Marxism, anti-communist propaganda is actually on the rise both in the United States and especially Europe, to a level rivaling the era of McCarthyism. The European establishment, through the passage of bans on certain symbols and public declarations, seems resolute in their endeavor to equate communism with Nazism to a point where Nazism, or at least Nazi Germany, seems to enjoy slightly better treatment than the ultimate evil that is Marxism. A specter is haunting Europe indeed.

If Marxism is so truly discredited, one wonders why increase the propaganda flow now, twenty years after the great “victory” of capitalism? If we look at the results of various polls reported by Reuters, AFP and the Pew Centre, the answer isn’t hard to imagine. What these polls show is that an increasing, and in some countries rapidly increasing, portion of residents in the former Eastern Bloc are beginning to say that they had a better life under communism. There is also a sizable portion which, while not necessarily holding favorable views toward socialism, is skeptical about capitalism’s viability and benefits. This is not only happening in countries like Russia or Belarus but also in Poland, Hungary, Ukraine and other centers of nationalistic anti-communism. Add to this a major world crisis and a series of recent imperialistic wars on the part of the US, NATO and Russia, and it isn’t difficult at all to imagine why the European establishment, embodied by the organs of the EU and the OSCE, wish, in fact must, attempt to terrify the workers with a distorted view of non-existent states.

The Irony of Capitalists Chastising Socialism

What does this technique boil down to exactly? Why, as our capitalist masters proclaim, should workers reject communism and suffer every humiliation, every false promise and every bloody war, all in hopes that one day the men in suits will suddenly find their fortunes on the rise again, and if we are lucky we might be able to catch a few crumbs from their table? Why should Marxism, communism and socialism be totally off the table, unacceptable, unthinkable and locked away in the dustbin alongside an ideology that proclaimed the virtue of one race of people exterminating others without mercy?

If we are to take the propaganda at face value, their reasoning for this, the reason why we cannot even consider communism as a legitimate ideology, is because the handful of socialist states since 1917, most of which no longer exist today, jailed and executed people. In other words, Marxism and communism are totally off limits because those states inspired by the theory engaged in more or less the same activities that capitalist states have engaged in on a much greater scale for centuries and in fact are still engaging in today.

Yes, it is a double standard, but apparently we workers are supposed to accept it. If you can’t understand this concept, here is a helpful guide, constructed from useful tidbits of information gathered over the years from numerous anti-communist sources. This will certainly help you eke out an existence as you search for jobs and wait for our “natural betters” to sort out this crisis so we can all go back to buying shit we can’t afford.

Moral Guide for Capitalists

Capitalism: capitalism and capitalist countries cannot really be blamed for any atrocities they commit, because unlike socialist countries they did not use the term “capitalist” in their official political titles. They also did not, to the best of my knowledge, acknowledge “capitalism” as a system in their constitutions and/or relevant legal documents. It’s no use pointing out all the atrocities committed in the name of anti-communism. Things like the Vietnam War, coups throughout Latin America, Europe and Asia and imperialist invasions and military campaigns cannot be used to indict capitalism because there were people in those countries who disagreed with such policies, and many people feel bad about them today.

Trust our ruling class, they have evolved past the old tactics of assassinations and foreign interventions, and in the future they will do better. They just need to wrap up things in Afghanistan and Iraq first…and prevent Iran from producing nuclear weapons…and oversee Cuba’s transition to liberal democracy…and secure Colombia…and…uh…er…Change! Hope!

Communism: communists are directly responsible for all early deaths which occurred in the countries they controlled. Any attempt at communist revolution will inevitably lead to more excesses, et cetera. Communists do not seek to improve anyone’s lives—all they are concerned with is power.

Capitalism: if someone points out how communists and suspected communists as well as leftists were persecuted, arrested, jailed, shot and lynched in the United States, always be sure to point out that this was far less than the number of people sent to the Gulag system in the USSR, ignoring for example, that the percentage of the adult population behind bars in America today is much actually higher than that of the USSR under Stalin. Numbers only make a difference if a specific death toll in a non-communist nation was less than that of a socialist one. If the opposite is true, then numbers don’t matter; it’s democide either way.

Communism: if someone tries to point out that “Stalinist” Albania had far lower amount of deaths attributed to the regime even by its enemies, this is unacceptable. Numbers don’t matter – 20 million, 10 million, 5 million, 1 million, a few thousand…it makes no difference and the liberal democratic establishment is terribly outraged by the idea that anyone would try to make comparisons. One death is too many. Unless, if you are a conservative, that individual is an anti-American Muslim, a communist, or just some jackass who isn’t thrilled about the United States or European Union running his or her nation. If you are a liberal democrat, the aforementioned state-sponsored killing is just as acceptable so long as it is not done unilaterally, but rather with the help of powerful European allies and sanctioned by the United Nations.

Capitalism: yes, Munich was a major mistake, and since you had to go and bring it up, so was the non-intervention in the Spanish Civil War but…oh right, yes, the active support for the fascist nationalists from US corporations and the tacit approval of the Royal Navy who watched German ships shell Spanish cities…yes that was a mistake too but…oh okay yes, there was that naval treaty England signed with Nazi Germany to allow it to re-arm…however you must consider…okay yes, there was all the stonewalling against the USSR to prevent any sort of collective security agreement…but if you would kindly stop bringing up those damned historical facts for a second, you would understand that the European countries were just tired! They were tired of war, and because they didn’t want war they decided it would be much better to let a previously weak and poorly armed country transform itself into a heavily armed nation under the aegis of a party whose leaders glorified war with every breath. Everyone knows this is the best way to prevent a war!

Communism: Stalin started WWII! Remember the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact! Remember it and nothing else, particularly anything that occurred before 1939! The Molotov-Ribbentrop pact started WWII, because it was the last major diplomatic action that occurred prior to the war’s beginning. As we all know, the last thing to happen in a sequence of events is automatically the cause of the event which happens after it.

Capitalism: people need to learn to get over things like slavery, imperialism, colonialism, racism, media consolidation, two-party oligarchies, bailouts, aggressive wars, corporate welfare and so on. Why dwell on the past? The Democratic Party is working on a solution; the only thing holding them back is that damned Lieberman! He’s like a one-man army. Just get over with it, and start buying stuff on credit again real soon. Get a mortgage too.

Communism: Katyn!

Communism: A one-party state! Oh, the horror!

Capitalism: behold, a two-party state! That is so much better than a one-party state! Why it’s twice as good as a one-party state! Two parties is democracy!

So as you can see my fellow workers, adjusting and accepting the capitalist narrative isn’t really that hard. You just need to toss out something called logic, and then be willing to accept the moral pronouncements of liberal and conservative commentators and intellectuals at face value, whatever they may be. I can’t wait till they fix this crisis and I can get a mortgage!